What are the different types of software architectural styles?

Category : Microservices | Sub Category : Microservices | By Prasad Bonam Last updated: 2023-11-05 08:24:06 Viewed : 221

Software architecture refers to the fundamental organization of a software system, including its components and their relationships. Various architectural styles are employed in software development to achieve different design goals. Some of the commonly recognized software architectural styles include:

  1. Layered Architecture: In this style, the components are organized in horizontal layers, where each layer performs a specific set of functions. Communication typically occurs only between adjacent layers, which helps in achieving modularity and separation of concerns.

    A layered architecture is a software architecture pattern where software is divided into layers, each responsible for a specific set of functionality. The layers are organized hierarchically, and each layer provides services to the layer above it while relying on the services provided by the layer below it. This helps in achieving separation of concerns and modularity in design. A common example of a layered architecture is the classic three-tier architecture, consisting of the presentation layer, business logic layer, and data storage layer.

    Here is a simple example of a three-tier layered architecture for a web application:

    1. Presentation Layer (User Interface):

      • This layer is responsible for presenting information to the user and handling user interactions.
      • It does not contain business logic but communicates with the business logic layer to retrieve and display data.
      +---------------------------+ | Presentation | | (UI Interaction) | +---------------------------+ | Business Logic | | (APIs, Controllers) | +---------------------------+ | Data Storage Layer | | (Database, File System) | +---------------------------+
      • Example: HTML, CSS, JavaScript for the front-end of a web application.
    2. Business Logic Layer:

      • This layer contains the business rules and logic of the application.
      • It processes the users requests received from the presentation layer, performs necessary operations, and interacts with the data storage layer for data retrieval or persistence.
      • Example: RESTful APIs, controllers, services that handle business logic.
    3. Data Storage Layer:

      • This layer is responsible for storing and retrieving data.
      • It doesnt contain business logic but provides a mechanism for persistent data storage.
      • Example: Relational database (e.g., MySQL, PostgreSQL), NoSQL database (e.g., MongoDB), file system.

    In this example, the presentation layer handles the user interface, the business logic layer processes user requests and contains the applications logic, and the data storage layer is responsible for storing and retrieving data. Each layer is independent, and changes in one layer do not directly affect the others, promoting maintainability and scalability.

  2. Client-Server Architecture: This style involves a division of labor between the client and the server. The client is responsible for the presentation and user interaction, while the server handles the business logic and data storage. Communication occurs through a network, typically using sockets or HTTP.


    1. User Sends a Message:

      • The user types a message in the chat application and sends it.
      • The client formats the message and sends a request to the server to deliver the message.
      +-------------------+ +-------------------+ | Client | | Server | | (Chat App User) | -----> | | +-------------------+ | Process Message| | Store Message | | Distribute | +-------------------+
    2. Server Processes and Distributes Message:

      • The server receives the message from the client and processes it.
      • It stores the message in a database and determines which clients should receive the message.
      • The server then sends the message to the intended recipients.
      +-------------------+ +-------------------+ | Client | | Server | | (Chat App User) | <----- | | +-------------------+ | Retrieve | | and Send | | Message to | | Recipients | +-------------------+
  3. Microservices Architecture: This style involves developing a single application as a suite of small services, each running in its own process and communicating with lightweight mechanisms, often an HTTP resource API. It helps in achieving a modular approach, where each service is responsible for a specific feature.

  4. Event-Driven Architecture (EDA): EDA is a style where the systems components communicate with each other by producing and consuming events. This approach is particularly useful for handling asynchronous processing and decoupling the components.

  5. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA): SOA is a design pattern in which application components provide services to other components via a communication protocol over a network. This style promotes reusability and interoperability of various software components.

  6. Component-Based Architecture: In this style, the software is divided into reusable, self-contained, and loosely coupled components, which can be developed and deployed independently. These components communicate with each other through interfaces.

  7. Pipe and Filter Architecture: This style is characterized by a chain of processing elements (filters) arranged so that the output of each element is the input of the next. This approach is commonly used for batch processing and data transformation tasks.

  8. Repository Architecture: This style involves a central data store, known as a repository, that is responsible for providing access to data within the system. The components of the system interact with the repository to access or modify the data.

  9. Model-View-Controller (MVC): This architectural pattern separates an application into three main components: the model (business logic), the view (user interface), and the controller (intermediary between the model and the view). This separation helps in achieving the separation of concerns and modularity.

  10. Peer-to-Peer Architecture: This style allows individual nodes to act both as clients and servers within a network, enabling the sharing of resources and information directly between each other without the need for a centralized server.

    Examples of P2P Applications:

    1. File Sharing: BitTorrent is a classic example where users share files directly with each other without a central server.

    2. Communication: Some voice over IP (VoIP) and messaging applications use P2P architecture for direct communication between users.

    3. Blockchain: Blockchain networks, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, use P2P architecture for decentralized and distributed consensus.

Each of these architectural styles has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the choice of an appropriate style depends on the specific requirements and constraints of the software system being developed.

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